AFTER a great Glasgow launch night at Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens last Thursday it’s now onto The Royal Hotel, Bridge of Allan, for this evening’s Stirling launch of The Shift.

It may seem funny to have two launches for one book but the reason for it is, that although I was born and raised in Stirling, I spent the period from 1985 to 2014 at Uni and working in Glasgow, before moving back to my hometown.

Preparations for tonight’s ‘show’ (!), which is being hosted by the Stirling Observer’s intrepid chief reporter Donna White, have gone well with a good ‘dress rehearsal’ in Stirling Café Nero yesterday…now all we need is for some people to turn up!!

After some of the excuses I’ve had for call-offs (yoga classes and bowling matches) there might be an echo tonight!!!

Stirling is a strange one for me as having been away from the place for 29 years all of my childhood friends have long since gone and so, despite being a Stirling boy, it has taken me a while to settle back in again.

But having sold out on my last five signings with Waterstones and WH Smith hopefully there might be more than one man and his dog along tonight….time will tell whether I’m barking up the wrong tree or not!!!

The format, with Donna hosting, will be the same as last week’s in Glasgow when the Beeb’s Phil Goodlad did such a slick job. First up after a quick intro will be a reading by yours truly, from one of The Shift’s most compelling passages and then an informal interview before we finish with another contrasting reading and then…hopefully….I will sign some books for purchase.

There is a great deal to talk about as I will be sharing a lot of memories from my time as a rookie cop in Glasgow in the summer of 1989, a lot of which forms the basis for this Thoroughgood prequel.

The rest of the plot for the novel comprises of the Northern Ireland troubles and the raging of a fictitious Ice Cream War, which is a nod to one of the most brutal sagas in Glasgow’s criminal history.

It’s interesting to note that The Shift is back up at number 11 in the Irish crime E-book charts after being as high as nine, dropping down the charts and climbing back up.

The Northern Ireland troubles cast a giant shadow over Glasgow in the 80’s and I am hopeful that the plotline reflects that as well as giving a really strong flavour of what it was like living working and loving (!) in the city back in 1989.



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Well at last Launch Day has arrived and despite train strikes and Brexit Referendums the launch of The Shift will go ahead tonight at Glasgow’s most prestigious fiver star hotel, Hotel Du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens.

It seems like it has been a torturous process to get to this stage, as The Shift was originally pencilled in for a November 2015 launch with my previous publishers and has been written and ready to go since May 2015.

But I elected to sign a new four book deal with McNidder&Grace and The Shift is the first of these novels. The thing about joining a new publishers is that, and especially with McNidder&Grace having such a strong Crime Imprint with big names like Tony Black and Torquil MacLeod already in situ, you have to wait for your slot and tonight mine has arrived!

Tonight’s ‘show’ will be hosted by BBC Scotland’s infamous sports reporter Mr Phil Goodlad, who has just emailed me the running order, which will include one maybe two readings by myself from The Shift.

Having your launch hosted is a new thing for me, although last May I hosted my good friend Denzil Meyrick’s launch of ‘Sad Suits &Dark Songs’ in Oban and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. (Fingers crossed Denzil did too!!)

But Phil has some very interesting themes for tonight’s chat and I hope this will help drag out some interesting stuff from deep in my memory banks because, as you may know, much of The Shift is drawn from my time as a rookie cop in Glasgow back in 1989.

I always worry about launches and just how many people and who will turn up, as I have been through some nightmares on my journey as an aspiring crime writer!

One performance at Glasgow’s West End Festival that drew an audience of three, including my then publisher, back in 2012, still haunts me!!

Anyway with the help of Mr Goodlad, I can promise anyone who comes along to 1DG tonight an interesting, perhaps even eye-opening night, hopefully laced with a few laughs and certainly plenty of insight into my Modus Operandi and what lies ahead for Thoroughgood myself and a certain Mr Ludovic Graham, who will be appearing on the pages of Heist, book one in my new crime thriller anti-hero series, late 2016/early 2017.

But it’s fitting that I end by thanking Andy Peden Smith, the CEO and founder of McNidder&Grace, for showing the faith in me to table a four book deal.

Your support sir and the opportunity you have afforded myself, Thoroughgood & Graham, is very much appreciated!

If you can’t make it along tonight, I have my first signing session for The Shift at WHSmith, Sauchiehall Street on Saturday morning from 11am-3pm, so swing by for some books and banter and the grittiest most realistic 1980s crime thriller you will ever read…how do I know?

I wrote it!



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